State and Local Policy Database


City Scorecard Rank


Dallas, TX

29.50Scored out of 100Updated 8/2019
Local Government Score:
3.5 out of 9 points
Local Government Climate and Energy Goals List All

The City of Dallas released sustainability progress reports that included municipal climate and energy action information. The last progress report was released in 2015.

Climate Mitigation Goal

The city does not have a climate mitigation or greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal for municipal operations.

Energy Reduction Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

We did not find information regarding a municipal renewable energy goal.

Last updated: June 2019

Procurement and Construction List All

Fleet Policies and Composition

Dallas adopted a Clean Fleet Policy in 2012 (revised in 2015). The policy includes requirements for purchase of hybrid, plug-in hybrids, and CNG vehicles, as well as fuel efficiency standards for public fleet vehicles. The City also enacted an Anti-Idling policy in 2007 that limits idling for large vehicles to 5 minutes or less during critical Ozone seasons. Dallas’ fleet is composed of 3.3% efficient vehicles, including hybrid and battery electric.

Public Lighting

Dallas has not adopted a policy requiring efficient outdoor lighting, such as the International Dark-Sky Association’s Model Lighting Ordinance. Dallas replaced 75 school zone flashers with solar powered LEDs and the Green Building ordinance has some energy efficiency measures and requirements for lighting cut-offs. 

Green Building Requirements 

Dalla's green building program requires all new municipal and city-funded buildings larger than 10,000 square feet be constructed to meet LEED Gold certification standards. The update also included additional requirements for water use reduction (20%) and optimizing energy performance (3 points, 1 point above mandatory certification minimum) for these facilities.

Last updated: June 2019

Asset Management List All

Building Benchmarking and Retrofitting

The City participates in the Dallas 2030 District Initiative and submits data annually to the District-operated portal which links to the ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager database. The City implements the Green Dallas Initiative with support from the Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program. This program uses EECBG funds, to improve the energy efficiency of city-owned buildings, so far 248 buildings, totaling 3.3 million square feet have been retrofitted.    

Public Workforce Commuting

Dallas offers alternative work hours and telework policies through the City’s Personnel Rules.

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Initiatives
Score: 2.5 out of 16 points
Community-Wide Summary List All

The City of Dallas’s Sustainability Plan lays out broad goals the city may pursue. We were unable to verify if the city formally adopted the plan through either a city council resolution or mayoral executive order.

Last updated: June 2019

Community-Wide Climate Mitigation and Energy GoalsList All

Climate Mitigation Goal

Dallas's 2030 District set a goal to reduce emissions in the Central Business District 50% by 2030. The city does not have a community-wide climate mitigation goal.

The city does report greenhouse gas emissions in periodic reports to the Carbon Disclosure Project. The city’s most recent greenhouse gas inventory was released in 2019 and reports emissions from 2015.

Energy Reduction Goal

The Dallas 2030 District initiative has a goal to reduce energy use 50% by 2030 for the downtown area. The city does not have a community-wide energy reduction goal.

Renewable Energy Goal

The city does not have a renewable energy goal.

Energy Data Reporting

The city has reported energy emissions in its greenhouse gas inventory.

Last updated: June 2019

Equity-Driven Approaches to Clean Energy Planning, Implementation, and EvaluationList All

Equity-Driven Community Engagement

We were unable to determine whether permanent city staff have taken a unique and expanded approach in conducting outreach for multiple clean energy initiatives to marginalized groups compared with outreach to other city constituencies.

Equity-Driven Decision-Making

We were unable to determine if the city has created a formal role for marginalized community residents or local organizations representing those communities to participate in decision-making that affects the creation or implementation of a local energy, sustainability, or climate action plan.

Accountability to Equity

As part of the city’s Resilient Dallas Plan, the city created goals to improve equity within the city government. The city has also identified actions, partners, and timeframes by which to fulfill these goals.

Last updated: June 2019

Clean Distributed Energy SystemsList All

The city has not adopted a formal policy, rule, or agreement that supports the creation of clean distributed energy systems.

Last updated: June 2019

Mitigation of Urban Heat Islands List All

While the city’s comprehensive plan forwardDallas! does include a broad goal to preserve and increase tree canopy, the city has not adopted a specific quantitative urban heat island mitigation goal.

Dallas adopted the Green Building Program Ordinance which encourages the construction of sustainable buildings through two implementation phases. The first phase focused on encouraging energy efficiency, water conservation and reduction of the heat island effect through cool roofs. The second phase will expand to implement a comprehensive green building standard for all new construction. Newly proposed commercial projects with less than 50,000 square feet of floor area will be required to meet energy efficiency, water conservation, cool roof, and outdoor lighting requirements.

The city has adopted a private tree protection ordinance, but it does not apply to single family residential land. The city has not adopted policies that require or incentivize conservation of private land

The city created the Branch Out Dallas program, which provides trees native to Texas to single family residential properties. The program does not account for energy savings from tree plantings.

Last updated: June 2019

Buildings Policies
Score: 13 out of 30 points
Buildings Summary List All

The City of Dallas adopted the Dallas Energy Conservation Code, which incorporated the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) for residential buildings and the 2015 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2013 for commercial buildings. The city does not have a benchmarking and disclosure policy. Dallas offers incentives for energy efficiency upgrades, solar installations, and low-income programs. The city mandates a low-energy use requirement for buildings.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code AdoptionList All


The State of Texas allows its local jurisdictions to adopt and amend the Texas Building Energy Code.  All residential and commercial building construction must comply with the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). To learn more about the Texas’s building energy code, please visit the State Policy Database.


Effective September 2016, commercial buildings in Dallas must comply with the Dallas Energy Conservation Code that incorporates the 2015 IEEC with amendments. In March 2017, Dallas amended the code to include an alternative compliance path for buildings meeting ENERGY STAR program certification.  The city’s zEPI score for their commercial energy code is 53.7.


The Dallas Energy Conservation Code incorporated the 2015 IECC for residential construction effective September 2016. In March 2017, Dallas amended the code to include an alternative compliance path for buildings meeting ENERGY STAR program certification.  The city’s zEPI score for their residential energy code is 59.8.

Solar- and EV-ready

The city has not adopted a policy mandating new construction be solar- and/or EV- ready.

Last updated: March 2019

Building Energy Code Enforcement and ComplianceList All

The city has two full-time employees solely dedicated to energy code enforcement. To ensure compliance, Dallas requires a third-party plan review and inspection from a registered energy provider. The city requires Residential/Commercial Green Providers to attend mandatory training on the city’s Green Building Code.

Last updated: March 2019

Benchmarking, Rating, & Transparency List All

Commercial and multifamily

The city does not have a commercial and multifamily benchmarking and disclosure policy.


The city does not have a single-family benchmarking and disclosure policy.

Last updated: March 2019

Incentives and Financing for Efficient Buildings and Renewable EnergyList All

Dallas offers six incentives and financing programs for energy efficiency upgrades, solar installation, and low-income programs.

The city offers property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing to commercial, industrial, and multifamily residential properties for water conservation, energy-efficiency, and solar installation. The city also offers residential properties rebates for a range of home improvement actions that include energy efficiency upgrades. Dallas’s updated housing policy includes provisions to finance energy efficiency upgrades that bring low-income homes up to current energy codes.

Please note that each incentive/program is tallied based on the building types and energy resources eligible for award. For example, a PACE financing program that offers energy efficiency and renewable energy financing to both residential and commercial property owners is counted as four incentives.

Last updated: March 2019

Required Energy ActionsList All

The city requires building developments achieve a single low-energy usage requirement.

The Dallas Green Ordinance requires projects less than 50,000 square feet to be 15% more efficient than required by the Dallas Energy Conservation Code. The city allows flexible compliance paths for both commercial and residential developments. Commercial projects may demonstrate compliance by adhering to the International Green Construction Code with city amendments or by achieving LEED certification. Residential projects may demonstrate compliance by following the Dallas prescriptive path, ICC 700, LEED for Homes, or Green Built Texas. Projects are verified for compliance through the Third Party Green Building Program.

Last updated: March 2019

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workforce DevelopmentList All

The city does not have programs committed to developing a dedicated energy efficiency and/or renewable energy workforce.

Last updated: March 2019

Energy & Water Utilities
Score: 5 out of 15 points
Energy & Water Utilities Summary List All

Oncor, an investor-owned utility (IOU) is the primary electric utility serving the City of Dallas. The primary natural gas IOU serving Dallas is Atmos. The City of Dallas is an active promoter of Oncor’s electric efficiency programs. The State of Texas requires electric utilities to offset load-growth through end-use energy efficiency, mandated through an EERS. The utilities must also submit their energy savings goals to the Public Utility Commission of Texas. To learn more about the state-requirements for electric and gas efficiency, please visit the Texas page of the State Database. On the state level, Dallas strongly advocates for additional spending requirements for electric efficiency projects for Oncor.

Dallas Water Utilities provides Dallas with drinking water services, wastewater treatment, and stormwater management.

Last Updated: March 2019

Electric & Gas Energy Efficiency Programs and SavingsList All

In 2017, Oncor reported 158,603 MWh in net incremental savings, representing 0.13% of retail sales. In 2017, Atmos Energy did not run natural gas efficiency programs in Dallas. These figures cover the entire Texas service territory, not just Dallas. Oncor offers electric efficiency incentives and technical assistance to residential and commercial/industrial customers.

At this time, the City of Dallas does not have a formal partnership with Oncor or Atmos Energy in the form of a jointly-developed or administered energy saving strategy, plan, or agreement.

Last Updated: March 2019

Low-Income & Multifamily EE Programs List All

Low-Income Programs

Oncor offers the Hard-to-Reach Standard Offer Program and a Targeted Low-Income Weatherization Program to qualified low-income residential customers. The Hard-to-Reach program is designed to achieve energy and demand savings with the installation of a wide range of energy efficiency measures at low or no cost. Service providers implement the energy-saving measures and their costs are offset by incentives paid by Oncor. Measures include duct sealing, water efficiency measures, insulation, weatherstripping, and caulking. Oncor is also implementing a Targeted Weatherization Program through the Texas Association of Community Action Agencies (TACAA), which provides funds to designated federal Weather Assistance Program (WAP) subrecipient agencies. This enables them to provide weatherization services to low-income residential electric distribution customers. Energy-efficient measures installed include aerators, attic insulation, air infiltration, central air conditioning units, central heat pumps, duct improvement, floor insulation, and ENERGY STAR® refrigerators and windows. Customers are automatically enrolled in Oncor’s low-income programs if they are enrolled in the Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP), Home Weatherization Assistance Plan (HWAP), or Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP).

In 2017, according to Oncor’s demand-side management report, it achieved 22,142 MWh in energy savings from its low-income programs, while serving 6,692 low-income customers.

At this time, Atmos Energy does not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at low-income customers in the City of Dallas.

Multifamily Programs

At this time, Oncor and Atmos Energy do not offer energy efficiency programs targeted at multifamily properties.

Last Updated: March 2019

Provision of Energy Data by UtilitiesList All

Neither Oncor nor Atmos Energy provides energy usage data to building managers for automatic whole-building benchmarking data for input into ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager. At this point, the City of Dallas does not advocate for policies requiring utilities to expand the availability and granularity of energy usage data.

Last Updated: March 2019

Renewable Energy Efforts of Energy UtilitiesList All

Renewable Energy Incentives

In 2017, Oncor provided $4,557,017 in incentives for the installation of 3,342 kW of new distributed solar systems, equating to $1,364/kW installed. These incentives were offered through Oncor’s Solar Photovoltaic Program, which is available to both commercial and residential customers that meet program eligibility criteria.

City-Led Efforts to Decarbonize the Electric Grid

To our knowledge, the city of Dallas does not participate in activities or strategies to help spur or encourage more utility-scale or distributed renewable energy generation from its local electric utility, such as testifying in public utility commission proceedings related to renewable energy, creating a formal partnership with the electric utility on renewable generation, or participating in utility planning efforts to increase renewable generation.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficiency Efforts in Water ServicesList All

City-wide water efficiency and goals

Dallas’s water and energy utilities do not jointly administer water and energy efficiency programs. The city has watering restrictions and offers its own water efficiency programs including the New Throne for your Home program, irrigation system checks, rebate programs, multi-sector water audits, and support for minor plumbing repairs. Dallas’s Water Conservation Strategic Plan 2016-2020 calls for an average of 1% per year reduction in per capita consumption for the five-year planning period.

Water plant efficiency and self-generation

The Dallas City Council’s strategic plan calls for energy recapture opportunities in the water and wastewater systems. The Southside wastewater treatment plant has a bio-digester that generates electricity used on-site. It is anticipated that gas pulled off of the sludge digester provides about 50% of the plant’s energy. The utility automation program is exploring and implementing items like smart meters to expand energy efficiency through the Dallas water services system.

Last Updated: March 2019

Score: 5.5 out of 30 points
Transportation Summary List All

The transportation authority serving the city of Dallas is Dallas Area Rapid Transit. DART also provides the public transportation for the city and the broader metropolitan area, including train, bus, light rail, and trolley service. The North Central Texas Council of Governments is the MPO in charge of conducting metropolitan transportation planning. Its area of jurisdiction encompasses the Dallas-Fort Worth area as well as many surrounding counties. The Public Works Department of Dallas is the city agency charged with managing the city’s transportation network.

Last updated: January 2017

Sustainable Transportation Planning List All

Sustainable Transportation Plan

We could not confirm that Dallas has a plan in place to encourage sustainable transportation. 

VMT/GHG Target and Stringency

At this time, the City does not have a codified vehicle miles traveled (VMT) or greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target.

Progress Achieved Toward VMT/GHG Targets

We could not determine if the City tracks VMT or GHG numbers.

Last Updated: March 2019

Location Efficiency List All

Location Efficient Zoning Codes

Dallas’s Chapter 51A Article XIII uses mixed-use districts on the neighborhood scale to implement transit-oriented communities and mixed use development in area plans.

Residential Parking Policies

The City requires 2 or more parking spots per single family lodging but allows one or more parking spaces per residential unit in certain areas.

Location Efficiency Incentives and Disclosure

There are no incentives available through the City to promote location efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2019

Mode Shift List All

Mode Shift Targets

At this time, the City does not have a codified mode share target for trips within the city.

Progress Achieved Toward Mode Shift Targets

No progress has been achieved, as there are no targets in place.

Complete Streets

Dallas adopted its complete streets policy in 2011 and has since updated it with its Complete Streets Design Manual. The Complete Streets Initiative encourages the inclusion of complete streets principles in all road construction and maintenance projects.

Car Sharing

The City of Dallas is served by Oak Cliff Car Share zipcar and Enterprise CarShare. Currently, the City does not have a formal policy in place to provide dedicated on-street and off-street parking for carshare vehicles.

Bike Sharing

There is a bike sharing program called Fair Park Bike Share but with very limited service. The City of Dallas is currently served by four private undocked system operators (Bird, Lime, VBikes, and Razor) that provide bicycles and scooters.

Last Updated: May 2019

Transit List All

Transportation Funding

The DART transit system that serves Dallas received $323,306,604.60 in average annual funding from 2013-2017. This funding level is $45.51 per resident in the service territory of the agency, putting it in the fourth highest category ($20-49) available in the City Scorecard.

Access to Transit Services

The Transit Connectivity Index measures transit service levels. It is based on the number of bus routes and train stations within walking distance for households scaled by frequency of service. The City of Dallas’ Transit Connectivity Index value is 6.8, putting it in the fourth highest category (5-6.99) available in the City Scorecard.

Last Updated: March 2019

Efficient VehiclesList All

Vehicle Purchase Incentives

At this time, Dallas does not offer incentives for citizens to purchase hybrid, plug-in, or EV vehicles.

Vehicle Infrastructure Incentives

There are no incentives available for the construction of EV charging infrastructure.

EV Charging Locations

The City owns 113 charging stations available for public use.

Renewable Charging Incentives

At this time, the City of Dallas has no incentives or requirements available for the installation of private or public EV charging infrastructure powered by renewable energy (solar, wind, etc.).

Last Updated: March 2019

Freight System EfficiencyList All

Dallas does not have a sustainable freight transportation plan in place, nor does it have any policies that address freight efficiency.

Last Updated: March 2019

Clean, Efficient Transportation for Low-Income CommunitiesList All

Affordable New TOD Housing Policy

Dallas has a requirement in place for the development of mixed-income housing in all TIF financed projects which ensures that affordable housing will be an integral component of each development.

Connecting Existing Affordable Housing Stock to Efficient Transportation Options

Dallas does not currently provide rebates or incentives to low-income residents for efficient transportation options.

Low-Income Access to High Quality Transit

In the City of Dallas, 43% of low-income households have access to high-quality transit.

Last Updated: April 2019